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Friday, June 22, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-22-2018

Chicago Eagle, June 22, 1918:

George Burns of the Giants is still wondering what happened to him in the last game in St. Louis. He was on second, and after Fletcher’s foul had been caught George danced about a bit as if he contemplated trying for third. When he turned around to go to second he found Center Fielder J.C. Smith there just receiving the ball. Burns was out.

I totally understand not noticing the center fielder sneaking in behind you, but how do you not see someone throwing the ball to your base?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:59 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-21-2018

The [Fairmont] West Virginian, June 21, 1918:

For the first time since its organization the National Commission, baseball’s court of last resort, has been defied.

Never, since the commission was founded, some 18 years ago, when the National and American Leagues decided not to war against each other, has a magnate taken issue with the rulings of the body, until Connie Mack of Philadelphia ignored the right of the commission to award the services of his young pitcher, Scott Perry, to the Boston Braves, who had claimed him.

The Braves bought Perry from Atlanta in 1917, but returned him a couple of weeks later. Then Atlanta turned around and sold him to the Athletics, but Boston freaked out, claiming they held his rights. Mack sued and got an injunction to keep Perry.

This was a huge story at the time. The NL and AL were on the brink of open warfare and there was talk of a clean break and the cancellation of the World Series. I imagine I’ll be linking to updates in the near future as this story develops.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 21, 2018 at 12:06 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-20-2018

Toledo News-Bee, June 20, 1918:

LIFE’S FROLICSOME IN TEXAS LEAGUE

Umpire George Blackburn was a storm center in a recent hard fought Fort Worth-Dallas series at Dallas. In one game Lee of Fort Worth, angry over a decision, threw dirt in Blackburn’s face.

The maddened umpire struck the first player he saw, who happened to be Clarence Kraft, who retaliated by giving his umps a beating. It took a half dozen policemen to pull him off Blackburn.

Frolicsome indeed.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 20, 2018 at 09:44 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-19-2018

New York Tribune, June 19, 1918:

It is not the fault of Señor Jose Campos, of the visiting Mexican journalists, if his readers of “Excelsior,” a Mexico City daily, do not understand baseball perfectly now that he has explained the finer angles of the game to them. The other day Don Jose saw the Giants and the Cincinnati Reds play and he sent the following to his paper, according to a morning contemporary:
...
“In place of a bull baseball has an umpire, a man who does not play the game, but is an authority of the same. Unlike the judge of a bullfight, he stands on the ball field. He is not goaded with pikes, banderillas and finally the sword, as is the bull, but is the recipient of abuse from both players and the multitude seated in the huge arena…

“I think if I understood English perfectly and had played baseball all my life, and had not been born a Mexican, I should like to see a baseball game every year on my birthday anniversary.”

I would too, but I’m out of luck because I was born in December.

At first, this excerpt seemed like it was probably fictitious, but I think it might be real. Jose Campos was indeed the editor of Excelsior, which was (and is) a newspaper in Mexico City, and the Mexican League wasn’t formed until 1925. La Biblioteca Nacional de México appears to have a digitized archive of Excelsior, but it’s not accessible to the public.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 19, 2018 at 11:06 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, June 18, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-18-2018

Washington Times, June 18, 1918:

“Irish” Meusel, the Phils’ young outfielder, tried to follow Ty Cobb’s example [in Philadelphia] yesterday, when he leaped into the bleachers and took a violent swing at a jeering rooter. He was finally induced to let the insulter live.

It’s not clear whether Meusel cared if the guy had no feet.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 18, 2018 at 10:06 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-13-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, June 13, 1918:

Babe Ruth Looks Like Cobb’s Successor

...to return to King Tyrus and his most logical successor, George Sisler, although a wonderful player, will not do, because of that same colorless stuff and lack of personality which characterizes the standing of Eddie Collins…The slugger always is popular with the masses, and the boy who can slam the pellet out of the lot or knock down a couple of infielders in every combat will get the big majority in the race for the nomination.

George Ruth, the slugging southpaw of the Red Sox, is that sort of a guy. He is hitting so well that Manager Barrow has slipped him into the regular line-up and forgotten all about his pitching Ruth recently tied the big league record with four home runs in four successive games, and if he continues to slap the spheroid with the same intensity crowds will turn out to see him in action.

That’s an impressive prediction and more or less exactly what happened.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 13, 2018 at 10:14 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-12-2018

Washington Times, June 12, 1918:

Friend Wife will have to have the feed bag ready early today, for Mr. A. Fan will be rushing off to Oriole Park to see the Dunnmen get down to work at 6 o’clock. Today 6 o’clock starts will be inaugurated by Manager Dunn as an experiment.

The wording leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s cool that the Orioles were experimenting with night baseball as early as 1918. It couldn’t have come any earlier that 1918 - these 6:00 starts were made possible by Daylight Saving Time.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 12, 2018 at 10:39 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, June 11, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-11-2018

Washington Herald, June 11, 1918:

An extraordinary baseball catching feat was accomplished when Corp. Michael Bessolo, a soldier on [Kelly] field, established a new world record by catching a baseball dropped from an airplane, 700 feet in the air.
...
It was the first time a successful attempt ever has been made to catch a baseball from an airplane. The fact that the baseball cas caught with an infielder’s glove, instead of the heavier catcher’s mitt, makes it all the more remarkable.

Back in 1915, Wilbert Robinson thought he was trying to catch a baseball dropped from a plane, but it was a grapefruit. It splattered all over him.

Also in the news 100 years ago today, the Southern Association decides to suspend play and not finish the season.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 11, 2018 at 09:04 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, June 08, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-8-2018

Washington Herald, June 8, 1918:

Mike Donlin was up in the press box at the Polo Grounds, New York City, [two days ago], and during a fanfest said:

“I see where the boys claim Babe Ruth established a record by making four home runs in four successive days. Well, Babe only tied the record.

Bill Bradley, the old third baseman of the Cleveland team, playing against the Phillies in Philadelphia, back in 1901 did the same stunt. Four days running he slammed out a circuit clout.”

Donlin’s right, but Bradley’s homer binge happened in 1902 instead of 1901. He homered on May 21, 22, 23, and 24 in Philadelphia, not to mention May 28 and 29 in Washington. In the rest of his 14-year career, he only hit 28 home runs.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 08, 2018 at 10:03 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-7-2018

Chicago Tribune, June 6, 1997:

[On this day in 1918] Casey Stengel, after being traded by Brooklyn in the offseason, made his return to Ebbets Field a memorable one. In his first at-bat, Stengel called time, stepped out of the batter’s box and doffed his cap. A bird flew out.

I knew this story and expected today’s link to be a June 7, 1918 newspaper mention of the Stengel bird incident. But here’s the thing: There are absolutely no accounts in any of the newspapers I’ve seen from June 1918 about Stengel having a bird in his cap. I’m not saying this didn’t happen, but I am saying that if it did actually take place, it seems like the sort of thing that somebody somewhere would write about.

In Babe Ruth news, the Bambino’s four-game home run streak was snapped “yesterday”, but he did drive in the only run in a 1-0 Red Sox win.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 07, 2018 at 10:43 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: casey stengel, dugout, fake news, history

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-6-2018

Toledo News-Bee, June 6, 1918:

Babe Ruth was again a herculean clouter on Wednesday, but his super-hitting failed to bring victory to the Red Sox, who were downed by the Indians.

Babe, for the fourth time in as many days, hit for four bases.

As I said yesterday, Wally Pipp led the American League with nine home runs the previous season. Ruth hit four dingers in four days.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 06, 2018 at 12:51 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-5-2018

Toledo News-Bee, June 5, 1918:

Babe Ruth, right now baseball’s demon clouter, hit his third home run in as many days into the right field bleachers at Detroit on Tuesday and helped Boston beat the Tigers.

Three home runs in three days doesn’t seem all that remarkable, but Wally Pipp led the 1917 American League in home runs. With nine.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 05, 2018 at 09:44 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Monday, June 04, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-4-2018

Harrisburg Telegraph, June 4, 1918:

[The Dodgers-Cardinals game] was one stig-tossled, hornswoggled pasttime, winding up in a protest. In the sixth inning, with Baird on second, Cruise hit a liner to center, which Hickman stopped but could not hold. Baird reached third and, thinking the ball was caught, started back for second.

After going back twenty feet he cut across the diamond to the plate and scored. Umpire Rigler ruled that after a runner had once touched third base he was not compelled to retouch it on his way home.

Olson protested the decision and was put out of the game. Manager Robinson then ordered his men to play under protest.

I don’t know the history of the rule about leaving the basepath, or how it read in 1918, but I don’t see anything in the current rule 5.09(b) that would have made Baird out for leaving the basepath or required him to retouch third. Am I missing something? Is there another rule that applies to this situation?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 04, 2018 at 10:17 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rules

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Best draft picks ever and one that got away for all 30 teams

Draft history is fascinating, and maybe the first thing you learn when looking through past drafts is not just how few players make the majors but also how few end up contributing much value beyond replacement level even if they do make it. Drafting a future star is rare—even in the first round. Drafting a solid contributor is rare—even in the first round. Drafting two solid contributors in one draft is rare. It’s a roll of the dice, yet the future success of your favorite team depends to a large degree on its ability to draft well.

cardsfanboy Posted: June 02, 2018 at 01:30 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: draft picks, history

The Hidden Queer History Behind “A League of Their Own”

Fascinating stuff.  I did edit the actual title not knowing how that aligns with site standards.  Not my title obviously.  Just sharing in case anyone notices and asks why.

(EDITed to include “queer” in the title, as it’s the title of TFA and does not appear to violate site standards. -vi)

Master of the Horse Posted: June 02, 2018 at 01:30 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: gay players, history, women ballplayers

Friday, June 01, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-1-2018

Chicago Eagle, June 1, 1918:

Grover Alexander’s arm will not have much chance to get out of condition at Camp Funston [Kansas], as he will have as a battery mate Johnny Kling, the greatest backstop that ever put on a mitt. Kling did not enlist, nor has he been drafted, but he is coaching the army there in baseball.

Sometimes they play baseball when army has a half day.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 01, 2018 at 11:06 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-31-2018

Celina [Ohio] Democrat, May 31, 1918:

Outfielders are in great demand along the battle front, and the garden keepers [of] the big leagues may find themselves specially sought after when the next call for troops is issued.

So says a letter from Tom O’Hara, the veteran center fielder who has for three years served gallantly in Canadian platoons…[The outfielder] is lighter on his feet and faster in motion than the men who play the other positions, therefore specially adapted for the work of “going over the top”.

Eek. Even more reason for Joe Jackson to keep scrambling for an excuse.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 31, 2018 at 10:25 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-30-2018

Washington Herald, May 30, 1918:

Memorial Day!

Crowds hurrying into packed ball parks—to crowded open-air stadiums where automobile races are being held—to open-air boxing matches—to field meets, rowing regattas, what-not. What will the Memorial Day of the future mean to these frivolous pleasure-seekers, who now find Memorial Day nothing but a holiday in which to seek their favorite amusement?
...
Millions of men and boys are going to France. Scarcely a family as escaped sending its quota of young blood into the chaos abroad. Already casualty lists are reaching us, small, it is true, but an omen of what is to follow.
...
As this war progresses Memorial Day will take on a significance which will have no place for those amusements to which the day has seemingly been consecrated for the last quarter century.

Nah, don’t worry about it, old-timey guy. People in the future will be about the same with regard to missing the point of Memorial Day—but with fewer regattas and more beer.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 30, 2018 at 10:45 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-29-2018

El Paso Herald, May 29, 1918:

There have been many queer developments and freakish plays in the history of baseball but the one that takes the cake was staged in Muncie, Ind., 28 years ago tomorrow…The remarkable chapter of the contest was confined to one inning, when the Anderson players made six hits—three triples, a double and two singles—without scoring a single run.

Triple. Out at home trying to score on a passed ball. Triple. Out at home trying to stretch it into a home run. Triple. Bunt double, third baseman thinks the ball is foul but it isn’t. Runner at third holds. Bunt single, runner at third still holds. Line drive drills baserunner. That’s scored as a single but is also the third out.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 29, 2018 at 09:36 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, May 25, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-25-2018

Toledo News-Bee, May 25, 1918:

Joe Jackson announced [today] that he is done with professional baseball.

“It makes no difference when the war ends. I shall not attempt to go back to ball playing to make a living. I intend to make my home here and to follow the trade of ship building.”

Jackson is peeved over press criticism of his action in quitting the White Sox after being called for selective service. He said he applied to the shipbuilding plant [in Wilmington, Delaware] two months ago for a job, that Manager Rowland knew it, and that Rowland also knew he was to leave the team while it was in the east.

Well, Joe, stay tuned. Making a living in baseball may not be an option too much longer.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-24-2018

Lake County [Indiana] Times, May 24, 1918:

Persons who sell seats on any roof or structure overlooking a baseball park will be obliged to pay a war tax to the government, according to an announcement issued [yesterday] by the bureau of internal revenue.
...
The announcement says that in one city a woman whose yard adjoins the ball park has been selling seats in a tree, the price being five and ten cents, depending on how high the patron has to climb. Recently the price has been advanced to 6 and 11 cents, the extra cent being added to the war revenues.

I wonder whether the federal government increased production of pennies around this time. I keep reading stories about the war tax causing pricing that would dramatically increase the necessity of one-cent coins.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 24, 2018 at 09:00 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, i must be in the front row

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-23-2018

New York Tribune, May 23, 1918:

Eddie Holley, shortstop on the Newark International League baseball team, was struck by lightning at the baseball park [in Rochester] this afternoon in a severe hail and thunder storm. He was made partially unconscious.

Holly might have been out for the year. It’s not easy to tell, but a former MLB shortstop named Ed Holly played 24 games for the 1918 Newark Bears. If he played regularly for a month or so, then missed the rest of the year, 24 games sounds right.

A shortstop named Holly played for Springfield [MA] in 1919, so it looks like this probably wasn’t a career-ending lightning strike.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 23, 2018 at 10:41 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-22-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, May 22, 1918:

[Ban] Johnson was in Washington yesterday to register a personal protest with the Government officials against [players leaving their teams to work in defense industries in order to avoid army service].
...
Considerable surprise was expressed by baseball men yesterday when word was received from Greenville, S.C., that Joe Jackson, former star of the Chicago White Sox, had been certified to his district draft board and would probably not be subject to draft.
...
Club owners in the major leagues fear that if Jackson is granted exemption upon the certificate filed in his behalf by the industrial plant employing him it will tempt many more players to desert the leagues and wreck the teams. It is believed that steps will be taken against players who desert its ranks to accept jobs in the plants that will forever bar them from returning to the ranks of organized baseball.

Jackson almost certainly deserved to be banned for life for what happened in the 1919 World Series. That said, I didn’t realize how long he’d been on organized baseball’s hit list.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-21-2018

New York Sun, May 21, 1918:

With two out and the bases full in the fourteenth inning to-day Merlin Kopp of the Athletics stole home, beating Detroit by 5 to 4. Kopp had reached third on a pass, a steal, and Gardner’s single.

That would melt people’s brains if it happened now.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago today, Babe Ruth will be out of commission for a few days after fainting in a drug store on his way to the ballpark.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:48 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, May 18, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-18-2018

Toledo News-Bee, May 18, 1918:

Customs officials caused the International League game, scheduled for [Toronto] on Friday, with Binghamton, to be postponed. They held up the Toronto players, refusing to allow them to enter Canada at Niagara Falls, because of dissatisfaction with the standing of some of the American players in the selective service. Players expect to secure necessary papers to allow them to pass today.

I blame Ban Johnson.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago, Cy Williams, who retired from baseball in the spring to become a farmer, “left his potatoes and corn yesterday” and went to Philadelphia to meet with Phillies brass. He’s expected to rejoin the team in a few days. (Spoiler alert: He does so.)

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 18, 2018 at 10:05 AM | 119 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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